Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 6
Acting tough against Haryana Roadways employees who were arrested during the two-day strike on September 4 and 5 for violation of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), the satte government has decided to suspend them with immediate effect.
Sources said that the Transport Department had sent a letter to all General Managers of various depots across the state to suspend the employees, mostly office-bearers of the union, who were arrested by the police on the day of the strike. Of the 164 arrested or rounded-up, 110 were sent to the judicial custody, while 12 were remanded in police custody. In all, action would be initiated against 122 employees.
The letter sent by Additional Chief Secretary, Transport, Dhanpat Singh, points out that these employees not only abstained from work but also incited and instigated other employees to boycott work despite the ESMA being in place and raised anti-government slogans.
It states that the Transport Department suffered heavy losses due to the strike, while the public, too, was put to a lot of inconvenience though the General Managers, the Traffic Managers and the Work Managers performed their duty with utmost commitment and tried to tide over the crisis.
Stating that disciplinary proceedings be issued against these employees and suspension notices be served on them, the letter adds that major penalty proceedings be initiated against them and they be not allowed to join duty. The respective General Managers have been asked to forward details, including the FIR number of all such employees who were arrested, to the Director, Transport, at the earliest.
Meanwhile, the Haryana Roadways Workers’ Joint Action Committee, at a meeting in Jind, has decided to submit a memorandum to the legislators of the Opposition parties to highlight the fact that their voice was being stifled and the matter of invoking ESMA and lathi-charge during their strike be raised in the House. On September 10, the employees would hold a two-hour protest at all depots and carry black flags to the venue.
Activists in jail, rally cancelled
Kurukshetra: With several of its activists in jail, the Haryana Roadways Workers Joint Action Committee failed to organise a protest rally in Jind on Thursday. Balwan Singh Dodwa, general secretary of the committee, said the organisation was working to provide legal aid to the jailed comrades. Dodwa said the union would soon announce its next line of action. “Several of our leaders and activists were arrested during state-wide chakka jam call on Wednesday. We had called a rally to protest police action, but it has to be postponed. Getting them released on bail is a priority at the moment,” he said. Dodwa said the union was determined to oppose the state government’s decision to induct 700 privates buses.
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